top of page

Spirit, Origins, & Midwives…

The people in my life have been midwives along the journey of ministry – conspiring with God to birth hope in me and others.



Hi everyone! I thought I would start by introducing myself and letting you know how I got to where I am. I am a United Methodist pastor, and I have served churches since 2001 - before (gestures everywhere) all the world turned upside down. And yet my call to ministry is as strong today as it always has been. My call to ministry is deeply rooted in God's spirit, fabulous people encouraging me, and God midwifing something new every day.


My call to ministry did not happen in some fantastical Biblical way. No dove descended from the throne of God, and no burning bush spoke to me. But I have seen the in-breaking of God in my life through encounters with family, friends, creation, congregants, and even strangers. The people in my life have been midwives along the journey of ministry – conspiring with God's spirit to birth hope in me and others.


As I stood before the congregation in which I was raised, surrounded by people who loved me and supported me – people who saw that spark I couldn’t see in myself – I felt an overwhelming wave of understanding.

My parents instilled in me the idea that the church is not only a place to find and learn about God, but a place where deep and lasting relationships can be found. Sunday mornings at our house were always filled with excitement. Our family truly loved going to church. Though our family life was sometimes unpredictable, going to church was something that I could count on each week. As a family, our core friends were found at church, and my brother and I frequently enjoyed the doting affections of our countless “surrogate” grandparents.


When I was beginning to discern my call to ordained ministry, a retired pastor in our congregation left a lasting impression on me when he asked me to help lead worship by singing the Jim Strathdee song, “The Spirit of the Lord.” The song uses the scripture from Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”


As I stood before the congregation in which I was raised, surrounded by people who loved me and supported me – people who saw that spark I couldn’t see in myself – I felt an overwhelming wave of understanding. God’s spirit was upon ME because God had anointed ME to preach the good news. ME! The lure toward ministry was never “out there” in the world – God’s Spirit was always midwifing me toward that moment to see my own potential.


My own call to ministry is a reminder that God’s love breaks into the world in tangible ways: that still small voice that comforts the lonely; that warm strength that helps with a decision; that bit of courage that changes the course of history. I see God in the face of a child or friend or family member I treasure; I feel held by the mystery when a friend – or sometimes more acutely when a caring stranger – extends a hand and opens their heart to me. I have experienced God in the breaking of bread at Bible Studies, in the outpouring of love that occurs when a member of the church family dies, or in baptizing a longed-for child.


Even today, God is midwifing something new in me - breaking into my world in tangible ways - the warm cup of tea that soothes my throat, an opportunity to start a new way to share my faith, watching my son play with our dog, and knitting my troubles away into a hat for a loved one.


What is Spirit midwifing in you?

Komentar


bottom of page